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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

no                        BYZANTINE CHURCHES                       CHAP.
1328)5 when it was found, like so many other churches which survived the Latin occupation of the city, in a state demanding extensive repair. It was then embellished and enlarged by the protovestiarissa Theodora/ a lady who occupied a prominent position in the society of the day, both as the emperor's cousins and on account of her accomplishments and character. In her early youth she was married to George Muzalon,2 the favourite counsellor and trusted friend of Theodore II. Ducas of Nicaea. What confidence Muzalon enjoyed may be inferred from the fact that he was associated with the Patriarch Arsenius as guardian of the emperor's son, John Lascaris, when left the heir to the throne of Nicaea, as a child eight years old.3 Had Muzalon not met with an untimely end he might have become the colleague of his ward, and Theodora might have worn the imperial crown. The tragic murder of her husband by his political opponents, while celebrating the obsequies of the Emperor Theodore, provoked a terrible outburst of indignation and grief on her part/ and so vehement was her condemnation of the criminals that her uncle, the treacherous Michael Palaeologus, threatened she would share her husband's fate if she did not control her feelings.5 After the accession of Michael Palaeologus to the throne, her hand was bestowed on the protovestiarius Raoul, and hence she is generally known by his name and title as Raoulaina the protovestiarissa (y fPaov\at,va 7rpa>TQ/3<rTt,dpi,cra"&) One of her beautiful daughters became the wife of Constantine Palaeologus, the ill-fated brother of Andronicus II. But, as already stated, Theodora was not only highly connected, Like many noble ladies in Byzantine society, she cultivated learning,6 and took a deep interest in the theological discussions and ecclesiastical affairs of her day. She was a devoted adherent of the party attached to the person and memory of the Patriarch Arsenius; the party that never forgave Michael Palaeologus for blinding the young John Lascaris and robbing him of the throne, the party that
1  Pachym. ii. p. 85 ; Niceph. Greg. i. pp. 167, 178,
2  Niceph. Greg. I. pp, 167, 168,                        3 Pachym, i. p, 39.
4 Ibid* pp. 55-63.           6 Ibid, I. p. loS,           6 Niceph, Greg. i. p. 178.